Dec. 13, 2006
COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03.
STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Tony Bennett became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pac-10 school in the post-World War II era.
MEETING THE MATADORS: Cal State Northridge is currently 5-4 this season (plays The Master's College, Dec. 14)...defeated Portland State in opening game, 90-65 before suffering a loss to Pac-10 foe Oregon, 84-73...went on to win three straight vs. Lehigh (74-68), Redlands (159-97), and Pepperdine (95-92)..dropped next two on the road at Illinois State (66-44) and Tulsa (91-70) before bouncing back to defeat Eastern Washington (102-98) at home...led by junior Calvin Chitwood who is averaging 14.2 points per outing on the strength of 61.5 percent shooting from the field...junior Jonathan Heard is also putting up double figures with 13.9 points per game...head coach Bobby Braswell is in his 11th season with the Matadors...is 54-90 when competing on the road...as a whole the team is averaging 86.9 points a game, seventh in this week's NCAA rankings.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Dec. 16): The Cougars are currently 18-10 when competing Dec. 16...in 1991, head coach Kelvin Sampson led his Cougars to a lopsided victory over Alcorn State, 119-81...while the game started out close, WSU exploded on a 30-5 run to end the first half to lead 65-29 at intermission and erase any hopes the Braves might have had...second half played to a much tighter score, 54-52, but it was not enough as the Cougs cruised to victory...senior Neil Derrick racked up 28 points in only 19 minutes...three other Cougars scored in double figures, Eddie Hill (25), Terrence Lewis (15) and Tyrone Maxey (13)...win was one of 22 the Cougars had that year, landing them in the National Invitational Tournament...first time the Cougars had made postseason play in nine years.
WSU AND THE BIG WEST: The Cougars are 10-2 all-time against current members of the Big West Conference, including an 8-0 record in Pullman.
SERIES WITH CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: The Cougars own a 2-0 all-time against Cal State Northridge, including a 1-0 mark in Pullman...last meeting between the two was Jan. 25, 1995 when the Cougars ran past the Matadors 106-59 at Friel Court...only other meeting was on a neutral court in Fresno, Calif., at the Coors Light Classic where the Cougars conquered Cal State Northridge 93-78.
NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Pullman residents are not the only ones taking notice of Washington State's hot start of 9-1...Cougars received points in both the Associated Press top 25 (nine) and the ESPN/USA Today poll (five)...last time Washington State was nationally ranked came in February of 1983...Cougars were No.18 Feb. 3 before consecutive losses at UCLA and USC dropped them out of the rankings.
HARMELING RECEIVES WEEKLY HONOR: Washington State redshirt sophomore forward Daven Harmeling was named U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Player of the Week for Dec. 4-10...Grand Junction, Colo., native recorded a career-high 20 points behind 6-for-12 shooting from the field in the Cougars victory over then-No.18 Gonzaga...followed that performance by putting up 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting and grabbing career-high seven rebounds at Idaho...first weekly honor for Harmeling making him the 14th Cougar to receive the accolade.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS: The Cougars victory over the No. 18 Gonzaga Bulldogs (Dec. 5) marked the third time in the last five tries that the Cougars have taken down a nationally-ranked foe...Washington State beat a ranked Washington squad last season in Seattle (No. 10) and Pullman (No. 16).
FILLING FRIEL: Many of the 10,755 fans that attended the Dec. 5 match-up against Gonzaga rushed the floor after the Cougars' 77-67 victory...crowd was the largest recorded at Friel Court since Feb. 11, 1995 when the Cougars took on No. 6 UCLA in front of 11,463.
COUGARS CLIMBING CHARTS: Washington State senior Ivory Clark and juniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver continue to move up in the WSU career record lists...Clark who recorded 31 blocks in his debut season has added 12 this season to move him into 15th place with 43...Low, who has knocked down 25 treys this season, sits tied for 16th in 3-point field goals made with 78 and in the 18th spot for 3-point field goal attempts (206)...Weaver has dished out 38 assists this season to place him 15th with 195...has also swatted 14 shots to place him one spot behind teammate Clark with 42 career blocks (16th).
QUALITY SHOOTING: Washington State is shooting 47.9 percent in 2006-07...John Thompson Foundation Challenge (Nov. 10-12) in Milwaukee marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that the Cougars shot 50 percent or better in three consecutive games...Cougars fired a 50.0 field goal percentage over UAB...60.4 field goal percentage over Wisconsin-Milwaukee...60.0 field goal percentage over Radford.
IN AND OUT OF HALFTIME: The Cougars are averaging just over a six point advantage against their opponents entering and exiting halftime...WSU has outscored its opponents 142-81 (14.2-8.1 average) over the final four minutes of the first half and first four minutes of the second half.
WSU WINS IN DIFFERENT WAYS: The Cougars led by at least 24 points in each of their first four games this season...led by double figures at halftime in all four games...first time WSU has posted four consecutive double-digit victories since Nov. 26-Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars led for all but 13:26 in the four games...never tied or behind in the second half...never trailed by more than six points...wins over Idaho State and Boise State came by six points or less...rallied from a 10-point deficit, including seven in the second half to defeat No. 18 Gonzaga, Dec. 5...WSU has seven wins this season by double figures.
COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Washington State is in the top three of the Pac-10 rankings in 3-point field goal percentage (first, 42.1 percent), scoring defense (first, 58.8 points per game), blocked shots (first, 4.70 per game), assist/turnover ratio (first, 1.25) and turnover margin (third, +4.00).
WASHINGTON STATE IN NCAA RANKINGS: The Cougars are ranked nationally in turnovers per game (11th, 12.0 per game), won-loss percentage (tied-13th, 90.0 percent), 3-point field goal percentage (17th, 42.1) and scoring defense (31st, 58.8 per game).
COUGARS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The Washington State men's basketball team currently holds the most diverse roster in the Pacific-10 Conference with seven states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries represented...ties Arizona to lead the conference with 11 different representations...Pacific-10 conference is the most internationally diverse conference in NCAA Division I...has a total of 24 student-athletes represented by 16 different countries.